'Disturbing example of hatred': Polish churchgoers shocked by graffiti on daycare
Published Monday, November 12, 2018 8:24AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 13, 2018 9:31AM PST
A Polish Catholic church was vandalized on the 100th anniversary of the country's independence.
Churchgoers were shocked to find the word "antifa," meaning "anti-facist" scrawled on the side of the daycare at St. Casimir's in Vancouver on Sunday.
Vandals also wrote "Nazi raus" on the side of the building on East 27th Avenue and Inverness Street, which translates to "Nazis out" in German. A symbol used by far-right groups was also found on the building. "Refugees welcome" was also written on the red brick wall.
A member of the church who spoke to CTV News said she was upset that the community was targeted.
In a statement, Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller called the vandalism a "disturbing example of hatred, and for whatever reason – political or religious – it is unacceptable in a country that enshrines freedom of speech and religion in its Charter of Rights."
It is not known when the graffiti was painted.
Vancouver police said they're aware of the situation and have met with representatives of the church. They continue to search for evidence in the area to determine who's responsible.
In addition to Remembrance Day, Nov. 11 is National Independence Day in Poland. The anniversary of the restoration of the country's sovereignty from the German, Austrian and Russian Empires is marked by a march in Warsaw.
This year, opposition parties boycotted the event, and some marched with banners representing far-right parties. Images from the Eastern European country show red flares filling the streets with smoke.
Last year, tens of thousands of nationalists marched in the annual event, some carrying banners with slogans such as "White Europe of brotherly nations," and "Pure Poland, white Poland."
There were no reports of violence.